The Clappfields and the McRails

     It was a half moon setting over the Broward this morning. It should have been a blood moon instead. Although it is commonly held that “Birds of a feather flock together” that is not always true. There was a bad mood permeating the river like a thick fog. Today there would be violence on the marsh. It had been brewing a long time.  I am sure you have all heard the epic feud between the "Hatfields and McCoys". But have you heard the one about the Clappfields and the McRails?

     The Clapper Rail bird families of Broward River established themselves decades ago. The two main branches were the Clappfields and the McRails. The Clappfields made nesting grounds on the more affluent east side of the channel while the McRails flocks eeked out an existence in the channel island located in the middle of the marsh. At night you could hear the KAK KAK KAK calling of the various birds as they let each other know their locations in the dense marsh grasses. In the early mornings and late evenings the two birds branches would see each other across the muddy channel and give an eye of recognition but rarely did the two families cross to intermingle. That is until one day Johnse Clappfield spied Roseanna McRail bathing in the morning sunlight. Her feathers shone like gold in the magical light. He just had to get to know her better so that night Johnse Clappfield crossed the channel at low tide to pursue the bird of his dreams, the lovely Roseanna McRail. Well as these things go it was not long before Roseanna was found to be in a motherly way with eggs bulging in her belly. But Johnse boy was nowhere to be found. In fact he ran off and married Roseanna’s cousin Nancy instead. This is where the bad blood started. Roseanna’s younger brother “Bud” decided to take matters into his own feathered wings. He waited one morning after the baths and high tailfeathered it across the channel looking for Johnse. But Roseanna saw him and warned Johnse to be on the lookout. She still held a soft spot in her tailfeathers for Johnse. Well ole Johnse was waiting for Bud and hiding in the weeds. When Bud was peeking into the marsh grass, the attack came from the right like lightning. It was all mud and feathers and flying fowls. Johnse was brutal and pecked Bud in the back and grabbed his wing trying to break it.  Johnse slipped in the mud and went down. Bud did a reverse move he learned mud wrestling on the Broward and was all over his back. Bud then broke loose and made his escape back across the channel. So much for avenging his sister. Even she had betrayed them. And for what? A two-timing good for nothing Clappfield. To this day the two families remain at odds. Some marsh folks like the local turtle would still just stick their necks and noses out and continue to sink down in the mud and pretend it never happened. Not me. I saw it, and the bad blood will continue I fear.

     Sound familiar? Are there bad feelings somewhere on your side of the "river" for someone on the other side? Don’t be like the turtle and just sink further into the mud. Should you go “Whoop some tailfeathers” and get revenge?  (Been there, done that, doesn’t work).  Don’t continue the saga. Make amends before it is too late. Be Blessed. Harry


It was a waning half moon, it should have been a blood moon.

Let me tell you a tale of the Clappfields and the McRails...

Johnse Clappfield sees Roseanna McRail bathing in the morning light. It was a forbidden love though.

Johnse crosses the channel in search of the fowl of his dreams (or just a flying fancy?).

He returns home leaving Roseanna in a motherly way only to then marry another.

Bud McRail, the brother to Roseanne, goes off to seek revenge for his sister's betrayal by Johnse Clappfield. He is unaware the Roseanne has warned Johnse of his coming.

Johnse you fiendish fowl, are you hiding in there somewhere?

Johnse is waiting and attacks from the right! Feathers fly!

It is mud and feathers!

Johnse has the element of surprise and jabs Bud with his beak!

He tries to break Bud's wing.

A former Broward mud wrestling champ, Bud does a reverse move and pecks Johnse in the rear.

Bud then makes his escape back across the channel.

Most folks will not stick out their necks for another.

They just smile..and

and bury their heads in the mud and stick up their noses. 

The Hawk says nothing, He has a "Frog" in his throat!  (literally) 

Remember, someone above is watching you!. Make amends before it is too late.

Hope you enjoyed the tale of the Clappfields and McRails. Looks like another blood moon rising.


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